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Mister Skylight Paperback – September 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556592930
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556592935
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 10 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,538,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ed Skoog was born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1971, and is a high school teacher in Seattle, Washington, after living for many years in New Orleans. He earned degrees from Kansas State and the University of Montana. His poems have been published in Poetry, American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, The New Republic, and Ploughshares.

More About the Author

http://edskoog.com


Ed Skoog's second book of poems, Rough Day, will be published by Copper Canyon Press in 2013. His first book, Mister Skylight, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2009. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Paris Review, The New Republic, Poetry, Narrative, Ploughshares, Tin House, and elsewhere.

He lives in Seattle. He is a visiting writer at the University of Montana for 2012-2013. He has been a Bread Loaf Fellow, Writer-in-Residence at the Richard Hugo House, and the Jenny McKean Moore Writer-in-Residence at George Washington University. His work has received awards from, among others, the Lannan Foundation and the Poetry Society of America.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By AJ Rathbun on October 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the very first poem inMister Skylight (before the first section has even started, a true opening salvo), Ed Skoog writes:

. . . I wept at the President,
threatened to barefoot across the border,
but in the end only rolled down the window
to wave at a stranger who looked familiar.

This fine, fine book of poems does exactly what those last lines say, as each poem in one way or another rolls down the window to look out at our country at the beginning of the 21st century, at every person, place, and thing that passes, looking both completely familiar, but also new, fresh, strange, and (at times) deadly. Skoog in Mister Skylight weaves us through our often confusing, but beautiful, landscape, stopping here to tell a story about jackrabbits, here to wax lyric about a bar in Seattle, here to wonder at the small sounds in his own neighborhood that go on even as he's turning 30. It's this ability to complete immerse us in his (and our own) surroundings, while getting us to verbally shake our rumps through his music and rhythm that makes me think Skoog is the true descendent of poets like Richard Hugo and James Wright. Not that he's a mere imitator--he's far too original for that. But because he trusts that, even in a potentially crazy world, his imagination and music will steer him safely. This is a must buy for any lover of modern poetry, and, really, anyone living in the modern world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Etzel Jr. on September 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ed Skoog's journey from Topeka, through Kansas, through all of the other places that have informed his work (California, New Orleans, Seattle), culminates into the sailor's cry--Mister Skylight--which is used as code to alert the crew of a ship that the ship is in trouble without worrying the unsuspecting passengers. Skoog's time in New Orleans, with the witness of Hurricane Katrina, must have spurred this fitting collection of poems that come face-to-face with our troubled times. The poems feel narrative (maybe America's narrative?) but are lyrical in the way they tell our story of being in the midst of crisis, of hard times, and of the hope we have.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. B. Pratt on November 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
If you glance at the Acknowledgments at the beginning of the book, you get some sense of the company Mr. Skoog keeps: Brad Leithauser, G.C. Waldrep, Carolyn Hembree, etc. But this doesn't prepare you for what follows, an avalanche of poems that span the enormous breadth of experience, a playground of language not just mimicking the present but transforming it ("futtock shroud" and "embourgeoisent" in one poem alone). This is a book to keep by the bedside, a volume of verse to remind you of what the word can do, a catalogue of hope deferred, beauty in the unnoticed, of resolutions with the unyielding: "If there is a man inside the hog costume, / wanting to feel unchanged, so there is a hog / wearing an interior fake man." This one keeps on giving.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sound sleeper on October 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have to admit first thing--I don't, these days, read a ton of poetry. I used to read more (when in school, I suppose), but lately just read it on occasion, and usually nothing now (really, my favorite poets tend to be people like Keats and Shelly and older writers). But was with a friend recently, and he said I should check out this book, Mister Skylight, by a poet named Ed Skoog, who he'd seen read recently. So, I bought this book, and have really, really enjoyed it. Skoog just has a perfect way of creating a memorable phrase. Like in the great poem Inland Empire, that starts with the speaker reading zombie comic books, but ends with the line, "while I keep trying / to lose you, in my fashion, / failed and constant." That's just a perfect line, that I kept thinking about. Which is another great thing about Mister Skylight and the poems in it, you'll be thinking about them for days, and then rereading them, and thinking about them some more, and then telling your friends about them. It feels like they've become a part of me, in a good way, and when I'm reading them, I feel I'm right alongside Skoog wherever he, and the poems are. So, if you enjoy poetry at all, I strongly recommend this book. And even if you don't read a lot of poetry, here's one book you should try, and I'll bet you'll find yourself reading these poems again and again.
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By Jeffrey D. Mccune on December 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book a year ago and savored it slowly, over a cold December. From my bookshelf, it called out to me again. Maybe it's the cold December again but I think it's Mr. Skoog's prowess of the English language, a true spectacle which has haunted me for a year. I rate this collection of poetry with the likes of Bob Hicok and Philip Levine. If you are at all tempted by delicious language, this collection should not be missed.
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